The 60th running of the Federated Car Care-Southern Illinois 100 takes place on Labor Day at the DuQuoin State Fair with five-time Southern Illinois 100 winner Frank Kimmel atop the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menard’s standings and on the prowl for an unprecedented tenth ARCA crown, not to mention an unprecedented sixth win at DuQuoin. In light of the thrilling and controversial race at Springfield, DuQuoin race fans could be in for a barn burner in the Southern Illinois 100.
At press time Kimmel was in search of a record 80th ARCA series victory breaking a tie he holds with the late Iggy Katona. Kimmel is the third on the all-time laps led list at DuQuoin behind the late Dean Roper but has the most consecutive stock car starts at DuQuoin with 21. He currently has a 255 point lead over his closest pursuer after 15 of the 21 events on the 2013 ARCA schedule. Kimmel was in the hunt for a record ninth win at Springfield but a late race pit stop put him too far back in the field to contend for the win.
His main competition Labor Day could be from the oldest race winner in ARCA history. Ken Schrader broke a record long held by Katona earlier this year by winning at Toledo and the two-time Southern Illinois 100 winner (2006-07) would like nothing better than to win the event for his car sponsor, Federated Auto Parts.
Brennan Poole recorded his first ever 100-mile dirt track victory for Venturini Motorsports at Springfield but did not actually cross the finish line first! Springfield’s Kelly Kovski and Galesburg’s A.J. FIke both passed Poole on a green-white-checker restart but it was ruled both had passed before it was permissible to do so and the race win awarded to Poole. The Springfield event was very competitive with six lead changes among five drivers.
Very few of the current top ten in ARCA points have any dirt experience past the Allen Crowe 100 at Springfield on August 18 yet most are expected to be at DuQuoin. They include Mason Mingus of Tennessee, Justin Boston of Maryland, Josh Williams of Florida and Mason Mitchell of Iowa. Mitchell won the pole at Springfield and led the first 21 laps. Third in the points is Tom Hessert of New Jersey who has considerable experience on the clay including a second in 2010 when he led 25 circuits.
Former Indy 500 driver Milka Duno of Venezuela is one of two females on the entry list, the other is young Taylor Ferns of Michigan.
Ten consecutive pole positions for the Southern Illinois 100 were won by drivers with significant open wheel experience until Ty Dillon broke the streak in 2011. Two open wheelers make up part of the dirt track ringers on the entry list. Benton’s Shane Cockrum is a second generation driver who will also drive on the USAC Ted Horn 100 on September 1. Cockrum drives for West Frankfort car owner Brad Hill.
Galesburg’s A.J. Fike has three ARCA pole positions at DuQuoin and has led 3 events for 89 laps at DuQuoin. He too will be doing double duty driving in the Sunday Ted Horn 100 championship race.
ARCA regular Darrell Basham returns after surviving a fire and tornado at his Indiana shop. Ageless James Hylton is on a farewell tour and can add to his record as being the oldest stock car driver ever at DuQuoin.
The lure of DuQuoin dirt has enticed NASCAR’s Tony Stewart, Ken Schrader, Andy Petree and Red Famer onto the clay in the last ten years and rumors abound that more than one NASCAR driver has been considering a deal to run at DuQuoin. Any such entry would be contingent upon their standing for the NASCAR Chase and the race at Atlanta on September 1.
Practice for the ARCA machines is slated for 9 a.m. with pole qualifying at 11 and the 60th Federated Southern Illinois 100 slated for around 1.